Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grants--How Did I Get Started

Yesterday I spoke at a job club about working for nonprofits. Many of the participants had questions about grant writing and how I got started. I explained to the group, and thought I should probably blog about how I got started in the field. Tomorrow I'll blog about some strategies for those interested in working in this field.

I started working on grants while finishing my BA at California State University San Bernadino. My faculty supervisor was working on several grant applications and asked me to assist her with some writing and editing. I wrote my first fully funded grant application for my own thesis research. While attending graduate school I worked the graveyard shift at a domestic violence shelter. I worked the front line answering crisis calls, and everything associated with front line work. Since it was the night shift I started to look for other things to do with my free time and started working on grants for the shelter.

Back then there were no BA's in nonprofit management, and very few grant writing classes. I don't know anyone who decided to pursue a career in grant writing, most fell into the field such as I did.

I moved to Los Angeles and started working as a Development Director for a nonprofit organization. The agency took a chance on me, and I put together my first federal grant for this agency, which was fully funded.

My career as a fundraiser/grant writer/nonprofit organizational specialist has not been strategically planned. However, after several years in this sector I have tips for those who want to work in this field. Check my blog tomorrow.

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